Dante's Invention: The History Behind Dan Brown's Inferno by James Burge


Hardcover. Condition: Fine. Dust Jacket: Fine. 2000. The History Press. 1st Edition.

A biography of Dante, following his life through the turbulent world of late middle ages Young Dante Alighieri was a teenage poet. His account of his early life and love, the Vita Nuova, is a model of self-absorption: it tells is about the state of Dante's soul and the pain that his love caused him but it does not mention any other living person by name, it tells us nothing about the battles in which young Dante took part as a cavalryman nor does it give us a single detail about Beatrice.Fate had to work very hard to turn Dante into a poet whom anyone would ever remember. It did so in stages. Firstly, a series of events made Dante aware of the world around him and even concerned about the violence and injustice that he saw there. But is was only after exile, sentence of death and the near collapse of his home city of Florence that Dante started writing fiction. That was the key. The narrative innovation of his great work, the Divine Comedy, enabled him to produce a picture of the Universe which not only said how things were but also how they ought to be. And Beatrice was a key part of it.Dante's invention of a new kind of fiction not only shows us his vision of life, death, right and wrong but, almost by accident, it introduced a new kind of humanity into the way human beings write about each other.